Hate Speech, BY Carl Garner (part 1)

Several years ago in the state of Oregon, a man was tried, convicted and sentenced to six months in prison for failure to give warning about a bridge that had been washed away in a storm. He was aware of the danger, had opportunity and time to give warning, but failed to do so. When good people see a friend or associate in danger they have an obligation to warn that person. Why? Because good people care for that person. Would such a warning be regarded as evil? Would it have been “hateful” for that man to warn others in clear terms about the danger of that washed out bridge? The news in recent months has addressed the issue of “hate speech,” and those “guilty” of uttering such words have received swift censure. How can anyone give support to “hate speech”? To speak words that are nasty, harsh, cutting or profane should never be part of a Christian’s vocabulary. To tell someone, “I hate you,” flies in the face of all that Jesus taught and is contrary to everything He did. Before we continue we need to identify “hate speech.” Is it “hateful” for a doctor to warn us of the symptoms of cancer? Or a pharmacist to warn of the danger of mixing certain medications? What some are calling “hate speech” may not come from a hateful attitude but from the depths of love. The English word “hate” is usually defined as: “…intense dislike, hostility against something…” Is there anything a Christian should “hate”? Should a Christian have an “intense dislike…hostility against” anything? Does God “hate” anything? The answer is not difficult to discover, but in today’s “politically correct” society, anyone who opposes sin could be accused of “hate speech,” and thereby receive a kind of “hostility” of his/her own. The Bible reveals God’s attitude toward sin. In Amos 5:21 God says: “I hate, I despise your feast days.” Did I read that right? God hated Israel’s worship? Yes, Israel’s worship had become merely ritual, going through the motions without sincere attitudes toward Jehovah. No, He did not hate the people, but He did hate their attitude. The psalmist wrote in Psalm 97:10:  “YE THAT LOVE THE LORD, HATE EVIL.”

Those who love the Lord will hate evil, but not the evil-doer. Men have said for years that we should “hate the sin, but love the sinner,” and that is precisely what God does and what we should do, too. It is not sinful to hate sin. It is not evil for Christians to hate evil. It would be evil for Christians to ignore or encourage that which is evil. Neglecting to warn about sin would be the height of hateful behavior. (To be continued)

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